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Business Planning: SAP BW/4HANA and SAP Datasphere

A hybrid scenario

The Best of Both Worlds in Business Planning
Digital Transformation
Data Management

Business planning is evolving from a largely static process, driven by batch data extracts and stand-alone spreadsheets, to a dynamic, intelligent and integrated function that creates actionable insights from countless diverse data sources in real time, and feeds these back directly into operational systems to deliver the instant responsiveness and agility that modern businesses demand.

SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) with SAP S/4HANA ERP seamlessly bring together automated data management and warehousingacross multiple data sources, with advanced analytics, visualization, and integration across SAP modules, to build this rich and dynamic business planning capability.

For enterprises already benefitting from the data warehousing and analytics capabilities of SAP BW/4HANA, there is a question of how to maximize the born-in-the-cloud capabilities of SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud while continuing to realize a return on their investment in SAP BW/4HANA.

In November 2021, SAP announced SAP BW Bridge für SAP Datasphere, a solution that provides an effective answer to that question. This blog article explores the benefits of a hybrid SAP BW/4HANA and SAP Datasphere implementation using SAP BW bridge, some of the factors that organizations should consider in adopting such an implementation.

Benefits of a Hybrid SAP BW/4HANA and SAP Datasphere Approach

SAP BW bridge makes existing SAP BW/4HANA-based functionality available as part of SAP Datasphere, run entirely in the public cloud. This enables enterprises to retain full value from their existing data warehouse assets while harnessing the benefits of SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud.

Investment of time, money and expertise in existing SAP BW/4HANA models, transformations and customizations is preserved, along with the familiarity of using established links with the broader SAP applications estate. Migration towards a full SAP Datasphere public cloud model is de-risked by the ability to retain these assets.

At the same time, the enterprise gains all the advantages of cloud scalability and reach, and the usability and advanced intelligent analytic capabilities offered by SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud.

Just as low-code/no-code applications are enabling businesses to automate operational processes directly without technical expert input, SAP Datasphere is simple enough in use that data workers can focus directly on creating analytics capabilities without having to call on specialist IT capability.

In traditional business data warehouse implementations, integrating each additional data source adds an overhead. SAP Datasphere replaces this with the capability to encompass an unlimited range of data sources, with all the scalability of a modern public cloud platform.

Key Considerations for a Hybrid Approach

As with any business IT deployment, effective hybrid SAP BW/4HANA and SAP Datasphere implementation needs to be part of a robust business systems strategy. It should be based on a clear understanding of SAP BW/4HANA and SAP Datasphere capabilities, and how they complement each other.

SAP Datasphere harnesses the power of the cloud, the proliferation of sources of unstructured data assets, and advances in AI and advanced programming, to create a simple yet powerful analytics and planning tool that non-technical data worker can use directly, with minimal specialist IT input.

SAP BW bridge creates a public cloud space in SAP Datasphere to run a SAP BW/4HANA instance. It preserves SAP BW/4HANA data models, transformations and customizations, and maintains SAP BW/4HANA links with other SAP modules, all within the SAP Datasphere environment.  As SAP Datasphere provides the wider warehousing and analytics capabilities, some functions, such as queries, are not preserved in SAP BW bridge.

It is important to understand the relative roles of SAP Datasphere and SAP BW bridge in this hybrid approach. SAP BW bridge enables existing SAP BW/4HANA assets to be integrated into the SAP Datasphere environment, it is not simply a way to continue to run SAP BW/4HANA.

Where Does Arvato Systems Add Value?

Arvato Systems offers a combination of comprehensive platform expertise built during a long and productive partnership with SAP. With broad and deep business know-how in the areas of processes, planning and reporting, we support companies in developing their own analytics and data science competencies.

Arvato Systems takes an agile project approach to deliver value quickly and meet our customers' expectations for fast time to market.

All of this is supported by a highly available global presence and reach to ensure that our customers are supported around the clock.

Written by

Joachim Warntjen
Expert for Modern Data Warehousing